A Chinese tourist visiting the Baiyangdian Lake tourist attraction in Hebei has been fined 500 yuan ($75) for picking a flower.
Wang Xingchao said he was given the fine at the Lotus Daguan Garden area after his 13 year-old child picked a flower. Wang said he was immediately approached by security guards at the scene and made to pay the fine in cash.
A Lotus Daguan Garden employee, named Ma, confirmed that the tourist attraction had in fact instituted a rule for fining visitors for picking flowers, but couldn’t confirm Wang’s story as he didn’t receive a receipt for his fine.
Ma said there is no set fine for picking flowers, saying that it is up to each individual security guard to set an amount depending upon the circumstances. “There is no rule in our regulation that stipulates picking one flower will cost a 500 yuan fine, or that picking two flowers will cost 200 yuan,” said Ma.
Wang called the fine “unreasonable”, but admitted visitors were warned against picking flowers by signs and loudspeaker warnings.
But as Wang described it, picking flowers is an irresistible temptation for Chinese tourists like himself:
We were walking along the path where you could pick a flower just by extending your arm. (My child) lightly touched it, and the flower easily came off.